Imagine working for a company or department where your manager never gave you positive feedback, rarely communicated important information to you, and you felt disrespected on a regular basis. Is this the type of organization that you would want to work for on a long-term basis or would you feel disengaged, unmotivated, and even disloyal in this kind of environment?
Even though one’s own internal sense of motivation and work ethic may be strong, study after study shows that how direct supervisors interact with their employees has a significant impact on turnover, productivity, loyalty and wellbeing.
Today, we are going to look at some extraordinary statistics from recent research related to employee engagement. To maximize output, it really is a two-way street where both managers and employees need to consistently participate and take time to improve negative team culture.
- Only 30% of American workers are actively engaged; 52% are disengaged and 18% are actively disengaged.
- Of those who are disengaged, 72% are college graduates, 73% are baby boomers and 72% are men.
- When employees are appreciated at work, productivity and company loyalty increases by 81% and 53% respectively. Also, 62% of organizations are able to link profitability to employee engagement.
- Of those surveyed, 88% preferred praise and recognition from a manager instead of receiving a financial reward.
According to Gallup, here are four ways to improve employee engagement:
- Make sure employees know what is expected from them at work.
- Give them the best tools to be successful at their jobs.
- Assure them that their opinions matter.
- Provide frequent recognition to them for a job well done.
Other suggestions include sending a personal note/e-mail, public recognition, time off of work, or a personal award based on the individual employee. Meet with staff, as a group and individually, at least once a month. Be authentic and genuine with your feedback, keeping in mind that you also need to be consistent and fair. It also goes a long way if you acknowledge special events, such as work anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
The overall theme is open communication and feedback in both directions. It is certainly okay to give constructive criticism to someone, but you don’t want employees to feel like the only time you ever talk with them is when they have done something wrong. You need to temper what needs improvement with what they are doing right.
The steps above may seem like an easy fix and something that should be obvious, but managers who are experiencing a negative team culture first need to recognize that there is actually a problem, and that creating and sustaining a positive culture takes time, energy and commitment. As mentioned earlier, this needs to come from both leaders in the company and the employees.
Increased engagement throughout an organization leads to happier, healthier and harder-working employees. Isn’t this the ideal we should be striving for?
What are your thoughts? Do you have other suggestions or personal stories? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
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- Create a Work Environment That Encourages Employee Engagement
Jeremy joined Empathia (then NEAS) in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services, then became an Account Manager/Sales Consultant in 2012. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Management. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of roles with another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music, and spending time with his wife and daughters.